I’ve decided to write a complete healer guide. I’ve tried to cover all aspects and I’ll keep this post updated as the game gets updated. This is based on my own experience as healer (3+ years healing & I’ve completed a lot of veteran content) and others’ experience (as raid leader and chancellor, I get to talk to people a lot…)
- There are a lot of healer builds out there, Alcast especially has a lot of guides that they update with each major update, for all classes. I think they’re great to start off, especially if you’re lost about where to put your champion points or which morph to choose for a skill. But, eventually, if you just blindly follow a guide, you won’t be able to improve. You need to try skills, try sets, do some maths 😛 and test all that out in a dungeon. I also greatly recommend talking to actual people who have been playing the role for a while.
- I’m a DK healer and I have a templar DD who can also turn into a healer so I’ll be talking about DK & templar skills. Keep in mind that, after all the updates from the past year or so, all classes are pretty equal regarding healing. So, go, have some fun, and make an original healer !
Race and Attribute Points
- My character is an Altmer which is a good healer race. Altmer passives are focused on Magicka and help a lot with Magicka Sustain !
- Other races whose passives are (more or less) focused on Magicka are : Argonian (also has healing passives), Breton, Dunmer.
- Your attribute points should largely be committed to Magicka. There are 64 attribute points in total. I recommend you put between 50 and 60 points into Magicka (or even all) and the rest into Health. The goal is to reach 16-18k Maximum Health (with food). More than 20k Maximum Health is definitely an overkill for a healer ! 25-30k Maximum Magicka is recommended.
My general advice : wear something that benefits your group if you’re going for harder-than-casual group contents (veteran dungeons, trials). Don’t be selfish, you’re the healer 😛
That’s where I mostly agree with the meta. The best 4 healer sets for endgame content are :
- Spell Power Cure (“SPC”, White-Gold Tower) or Vestment of Olorime (“Olorime”, Cloudrest). SPC and Olorime both give Major Courage so they don’t stack. Olorime is more interesting than SPC (for Minor Aegis, and Major Courage lasts 30 seconds) so if you have a choice between farming White Gold Tower or Cloudrest, definitely go for Cloudrest. But if you don’t have access to Cloudrest, SPC is still good.
- The Worm's Raiment (“WC” aka. “Worm Cult” from the Vaults of Madness). Very interesting ! Most DDs are magicka based now, although a few stam NB still survive… And tanks are often running low on Magicka.
- Healing Mage (aka. “Mending”, Craglorn trials). Don’t forget to throw in a Healing Springs on enemies at the beginning of a fight.
- Sanctuary (Banished Cells). Helps with your own survivability & especially interesting in trials with a 2 healer set-up. This also helps tanks & DDs who self heal.
There are also some unique staves :
- Grand Rejuvenation (aka. “The Master Restoration Staff”) that you can get from finishing veteran Dragonstar Arena is THE meta for Restoration Staff and also extremely interesting. Healing Springs is altered to restore Stamina and Stamina tends to run out faster than Magicka. It’s really hard to get though so don’t worry too much about it if you don’t have it.
- As for your Destruction Staff, there’s Concentrated Force (aka. “The Asylum Destruction Staff”) obtained from normal or veteran Asylum Sanctorium). It applies Minor Vulnerability (good !), Burning Status Effect (some bosses are immune to this one) or Minor Maim (good) with a 100% probability after using Force Shock three times (from experience : it applies all three effects). It can be a pain to use Force Shock three times (and a waste of Magicka) but Minor Vulnerability and Minor Maim make it worth it imo. I use it but only on bosses or particularly hard adds, after using Elemental Drain. It’s part of the debuffs I keep up.
- Inventor's Guard from the Halls of Fabrication – you’ll need an Ultimate with a low cost
- Twilight Remedy from the Maw of Lorkhaj – good if you use at least two synergies
- Eye of Nahviintaas from Sunspire – pretty good
DLC Dungeon Sets
- Gossamer from Cradle of Shadows
- Draugr's Rest from Falkreath Hold
- Jorvuld's Guidance from Scalecaller Peak
- Hanu's Compassion from March of Sacrifices – keep in mind that the Healer is not supposed to be resurrecting though
- Hollowfang Thirst from Moongrave Fane
- Hiti's Hearth from Icereach
Non DLC Dungeon Sets
- Combat Physician from Wayrest Sewers – you need at least 50% Spell Critical for the set to be interesting
- Healer's Habit from the Dragonstar Arena
- Lamia's Song from Arx Corinium
- Light Speaker from Elden Hollow – more Spell Damage = more healing
- Prayer Shawl from Spindleclutch
- Shroud of the Lich from Crypt of Hearts
- Vestments of the Warlock from Selene’s Web
- Armor of the Seducer – 2nd map of your alliance, 3 traits*
- Magnus' Gift – 3rd map of your alliance, 4 traits*
- Eyes of Mara – Eyevea, 8 traits* (Eyevea is accessible after finishing the Mages Guild storyline)
- Twice-Born Star – Craglorn, 9 traits* (a set for all builds)
- Coldharbour's Favorite – Northern Elsweyr, 8 traits.
- Kagrenac's Hope – The Earth Forge, 8 traits (The Forge is accessible after finishing the Fighter’s Guild storyline)
*If you want to craft an item from the set, you must have learned/researched X traits of this item. For example, to craft a Light Armor hand of Seducer, you must have researched three traits for hand in Light Armor. If you need a crafter, don’t hesitate to send me a mail in-game (@yunfangoldhag), I can craft any sets, any traits, most motifs.
You can find them in chests or by defeating bosses = world bosses, dolmens and bosses in the public dungeon. You can also buy them from guild stores.
- Mother's Sorrow in Deshaan
- Necropotence in Rivenspire
- Skooma Smuggler in Reaper’s March – 2-items bonus
- Stendarr's Embrace in Eastmarch – the 5-items bonus is actually pretty good but veeeery low proc
- Syrabane's Grip in Grahtwood
- Trinimac's Valor in Wrothgar
- Wisdom of Vanus in Summerset
- Bright-Throat's Boast in Murkmire
- Crafty Alfiq in Northern Elsweyr
- Sentinel of Rkugamz (Darkshade Caverns I) restores Stamina to the group
- Earthgore (Bloodroot Forge) only procs every 35 seconds so it’s kind of useless in easy content (where most fights will last less than 30s), but it is good for endgame content (vet DLC dungeons, vet trials) where boss fights might last 15-20 minutes
- You can use a shoulder piece and a head piece from two different sets and enjoy the 2 x 1-item bonus : Magicka Recovery, Maximum Magicka, Resistance are good bonus
Other Monster Sets
- Chokethorn (Elden Hollow I)
- Nightflame (Elden Hollow II)
- Symphony of Blades (Depths of Malatar)
- The Troll King (Blessed Crucible)
How to wear all this
2-handed weapons (staves in particular here) now count as two set pieces. This means that you can wear 2 x 5-item sets and a monster set.
In endgame trial content, the two healers should coordinate their sets so, between the two of them, they’re wearing the 4 “endgame sets” ( Healing Mage, The Worm's Raiment, Vestment of Olorime/Spell Power Cure and Sanctuary).
The Question : 5 x Light Armor + 1 x Medium Armor + 1 x Heavy Armor OR 7 x Light Armor ?
The answer is… [drum roll] 7 LA is the best for healers ! (NB : I have tested this again very recently). 5 + 1 + 1 does increase your Maximum Stamina and Maximum Health but 7 + 0 + 0 gives you more Magicka Recovery and more Reduced Magicka Cost which is what you need as healer. 5 + 1 + 1 is good for DDs and tanks 😉
This is what I’m wearing with my healer :
5 x Vestment of Olorime (including my Restoration Staff), 5 x The Worm's Raiment or 5 x Healing Mage, 2 x Sentinel of Rkugamz or 2 x Earthgore and a Concentrated Force lightning staff. I’m still trying to get Precise Regeneration but DSA is not letting one go that easily 😉
Traits, Enchants & Mundus Stone
The mundus stone that I can’t recommend enough is The Atronach (Greenshade, Rivenspire, Shadowfen). It increases Magicka Recovery and that’s what will help you the most for endgame content. The Ritual (increased healing) may seem nice for healers but you need magicka recovery the most !
Armor Glyphs & Traits
- Armor Glyphs : Full Magicka or 6 x Magicka + 1 x Health if your Maximum Health is a bit low.
- Armor Traits : I go full divines which is also what I recommend. You can also wear one or two infused pieces to increase your Maximum Magicka and/or your Maximum Health. For example, if you’re struggling to raise your Maximum Health to the recommended min 16-18k, you could enchant your chest piece with a Health Glyph and have an infused trait. Tweak it up 😉
Jewelry Glyphs & Traits
- Jewelry Glyphs : I recommend Magicka Recovery and/or Reduced Magicka Cost but Jewelry Glyphs are an opportunity to “adjust” your stats in general. If you’re good on Magicka Sustain, you could choose a Resistance Glyph if you’re feeling squishy.
- Jewelry Traits : Even with the new Jewelry Traits, I still recommend Arcane (increased Maximum Magicka).
Weapons Glyphs & Traits
- Weapon Glyphs : Absorb Magicka or, if your Magicka Sustain is good, you can go for a Damage Glyph to help the group a bit.
- Weapon Traits : I recommend Powered (increased healing) or Infused (increased glyph effect) with your Restoration Staff and Defending (increased resistance), Decisive (more Ultimate = more horn !) or Infused for your Destruction Staff.
Potions & Food
- Potion : I use a potion that gives Maximum Magicka, Maximum Health and Increase Spell Resist. The idea is that I need all three if I’m in a dire situation.
- Food/Drink : I use tri-stat food as I often find myself needing Maximum Stamina (and I still need Maximum Health and Maximum Magicka) for blocking or dodging. Also interesting : Orzoga’s Red Frothgar increases Maximum Health and Magicka Recovery, you can get it by completing quests for Orzoga in Wrothgar, and it scales to your lvl. Witchmother’s Potent Brew increases Maximum Health and Maximum Magicka AND Magicka Recovery. It’s a recipe from the witches festival (Halloween) but you can either find it in guild stores or ask a guildie to craft it for you.
One of your bar is going to be your Restoration Staff with your Restoration Staff abilities, for healing, and your other bar will be a Destruction Staff (usually lightning but you can also use flame) for debuffing/buffing. Don’t use an ice staff ! It pulls aggro !
- Fiery Breath → Noxious Breath. Major Fracture is good but your tank will usually apply it if they’re using the 1H&S taunt. I use it when I’m not running with a tank or during fights where the tank will not be taunting adds.
- Fiery Grip → Unrelenting Grip. The Chain. Very useful, you can use it to help your tank or in specific fights (The Twins in MoL)
- Inferno → Cauterize. Grants Major Prophecy + Heals over time. A nice healing spell for your Destruction Staff bar.
- Spiked Armor → Hardened Armor. Up at all times for Major Resolve and Major Ward + Shield. Must have as DK healer.
- Dark Talons → Choking Talons. When no tank or to help.
- Magma Armor → Magma Shell (Ultimate). Very powerful shield. Useful if the team is taking heavy DOT.
- Stonefist → Obsidian Shard. Good for interrupting + burst heal.
- Molten Weapons → Igneous Weapons. Major Brutality + Major Sorcery. Must have. It’s a great help to the tank if you can slot it.
- Ash Cloud → Cinder Storm. Heals + ensnares enemies. For mobs !
The healing Ultimate (Rite of Passage) is tempting but often ends up being a trap. You can’t move while channeling it and I’ve seen way too many templar healers dying because they couldn’t move out of the AoE. You’re the healer ! Don’t make the other healer spend their Magicka on you because you’re busy using an Ultimate !
- Rushed Ceremony → Breath of Life. The Infamous “BoL”. The Magicka cost is pretty high so it’s better to use the Restoration Staff healing abilities, but BoL is useful when your group is scattered (for example last boss of HRC)
- Restoring Aura → Radiant Aura. Repentance is no longer the preferred morph since its nerf. This is good to have up at all times for the Minor Magickasteal.
- Cleansing Ritual → Extended Ritual. Nice purging skill, although Efficient Purge is preferred. The heal over time is a nice boost.
- Rune Focus → Channeled Focus. Always have it on !
Let me start by saying this : the Ultimate is shit, don’t bother.
- Grand Healing → Healing Springs. Used for spam healing.
- Regeneration → Radiating Regeneration. Try to keep it up at all times. Each “tick” of regeneration can activate the SPC effect btw !
- Blessing of Protection → Combat Prayer. Something to keep up at all times too ! Minor Berserk, Minor Resolve and Minor Ward are OP. You can use it for spam healing but the Magicka cost is much higher.
- Steadfast Ward → Healing Ward. I use this in two situations.
- When I see that one of my teammates is low on Health but I don’t have time to find them to cast healing springs or combat prayer, I cast the shield first to protect them.
- When a boss is doing huge AoE damage all over the place (e.g.: last boss in nAS or nHRC), I spam the Healing Ward.
- Force Siphon → Quick Siphon (the 1.5s cast time is ridiculous). Not a huge fan of the siphon personally, but it’s a nice “passive healing” skill.
The Ultimate does A LOT of damage, especially if you have high maximum magicka. If you want to help your team with damage, I recommend slotting it. It can help when you need to nuke a boss for example.
- Force Shock → Crushing Shock. If running an Asylum Destruction Staff – see gear part. Also a good interrupting skill, useful in many situations.
- Wall of Elements → Elemental Blockade. Useful against mobs for setting them Off Balance when using a lightning staff.
- Weakness to Elements → Elemental Drain. Keep it up at all times for Major Breach !
- Impulse → Pulsar. Applies Minor Mangle but only works on mobs.
Not only is it cool 😉 but being a vampire also grants a 10% Magicka Recovery (and Stamina Recovery) boost (Skill not found)
Other cool bonus: When you fall below 50% Health, you take less damage (Undeath it makes it VERY hard to kill you) BUT you are more vulnerable to fire and Health Recovery is decreased (Skill not found). While the Health Recovery isn’t much of a problem (you can just heal yourself), the fire vulnerability can be. Simply carry around some “Double Bloody Mara“. It’s a drink that takes you down one level of vampirism per drink. You can start by taking yourself down to level 3, then level 2, 1 if you’re still dying too much from fire damage.
- War Horn → Aggressive Horn (Ultimate). MUST HAVE in harder dungeons. Try to sync with other players in your group to have it up at all times
- Vigor → Echoing Vigor. If you’re playing a character with racial Stamina Passives, it could be interesting to use a Stamina Healing Skill along with your Magicka Healing Skills.
- Barrier → Reviving Barrier. Good Shielding Ultimate when you see that your group is about to wipe.
- Purge → Efficient Purge. MUST HAVE. It’s THE purging skill as it cleanses your WHOLE group. I know leveling up PvP skill lines is a hassle but I really don’t recommend going into endgame content without it.
- Meteor → Shooting Star. Deals a crazy amount of damage and less costly than the Destruction Staff Ultimate. You can use it to help with burst damage/nuking.
- Magelight → Inner Light. Grants Major Prophecy and Increased Maximum Magicka when slotted. I don’t always have it slotted personally as I need my 5 x 2 skills most of the time, but if you got a free skill slot, then go for it!
- Fire Rune → Volcanic Rune. Pretty cool skill that stuns enemies. I use it in dungeons.
- Circle of Protection → Ring of Preservation. Apply it “under” your tank to help with Stamina regeneration.
- Blood Altar → Either (Sanguine Altar / Overflowing Altar). To apply Minor Lifesteal to a mob.
- Necrotic Orb → Energy Orb. MUST HAVE. You can now only have one active at a time. Try to aim it at the tank + most DDs. Once you see it has gone past the group, throw another one.
- Mend Wounds → Mend Spirit. If you look at the Heal per Magicka ratio, this is a really good ability (aka. you heal a lot for little Magicka) BUT it’s SUPER HARD to use. It’s an on/off ability. While you have it “on”, you can “target” your group mates and your light & heavy attacks will heal them. Now that sounds easy right? Sadly, there’s no actual targeting (like with enemies) and, in the midst of combat, it’s near impossible to target the right person. The on/off mechanic is also a bit wonky imo (very bugged). Besides, you can only heal one person… so I do not actually recommend this skill as it is now, but it could be a good one if they implement group mate targeting.
- all Restoration Staff
- all Destruction Staff
- all Light Armor
- all Racial Passives
- Magicka Aid in Support (Alliance War)
Champion Points (CP)
The Thief (Green)
- At least 75 points in Arcanist and Tenacity (The Lover).
As for the rest of your points, I recommend
- Warlord (The Tower)
- Shadow Ward and Tumbling (both in The Shadow). You’ll need to break free, dodge and block as healer !
The Mage (Blue)
- 100 points in Blessed and at least 75 in Elfborn (The Apprentice)
The rest is more focused on DD-ing, you can spread your points in
- Spell Erosion, Elemental Expert (The Apprentice)
- Thaumaturge (The Ritual) or Staff Expert (The Atronach) if your Spell Damage is high.
The Warrior (Red)
This is where you’ll need to focus on Damage Mitigation. Here’s a website where you can run a damage mitigation simulation. I recommend following a guide because damage mitigation is VERY important, and there are some heavy calculations going into it. It’s difficult to tell on your own which Warrior passives are the best.
Scaling & Stats
Healing is scaled according to your Maximum Magicka and to your Spell Damage (mostly, but you can look up what each skill scales off of).
Spell Damage : My advice is to not focus too much on your Spell Damage itself but make sure it’s not too low either : ~1500 Spell Damage is alright.
Critical Healing : I’ve experimented with Critical Healing for a while and found it a little bit disappointing.
What you have to remember is that to reach endgame content, you’ll have to « make a choice ». You can’t have “average everything”. And that choice is usually to focus on Magicka Recovery. In « easy content », you will have plenty of time to replenish your Magicka. In endgame content, there will be moments when you have to spam skills for what feels like ages ! You might not be able to use heavy attacks to restore Magicka and potions have a pretty long cooldown. Efficient Purge especially is very costly and some boss fights will require you to near-spam it. A high Maximum Magicka will only take you so far. Magicka Recovery will work 100% of the time ! So my advice is : don’t worry too much about your « raw healing » itself, focus on Maximum Magicka and Magicka Recovery, keep Spell Damage and Spell Critical in mind. 2.5-3k Magicka Recovery and 30k+ Maximum Magicka is what I would recommend for endgame content.
I’ll be very general to fit most builds. Right before a fight starts, apply buffs & debuffs. Start with the ones that last the longer and don’t apply a debuff that will start the fight (the tank needs to start it !). Elemental Drain doesn’t start a fight for example ! During a fight, you need to rotate between healing (of course), giving resources (Obsidian Shard / Energy Orb), maintaining the buffs & debuffs and doing some heavy attacks to replenish Magicka. A good add-on for that is “Srendarr” which shows on your screen what buffs & debuffs the target and yourself have and how much longer it’ll last. Usually, you’ll have the same buffs & debuffs as your group so you can use yourself as reference for your group.
Positioning is very important for a healer. You need to be at the back of the group so you can have a clear view of everyone and so you don’t get hit by the enemies’ AoEs but you shouldn’t be too far away either. How many times have I seen a healer die because they weren’t positioned within their own Healing Springs… ? To give you a clear idea, you should be within your own Healing Springs but at the limit.
Thank you for reading 😀
This guide has been updated for Elsweyr.